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Michael Di Prisco
Michael Di Prisco

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Processes - The Twelve Factor App Methodology

Welcome back to our exploration of the Twelve Factors in Software Development. In this segment, we'll delve into Factor 6: Processes. This factor emphasizes the importance of executing your application as one or more stateless processes.

Processes: Statelessness and Scalability

The Processes factor encourages the design of your application in a way that treats each execution as a stateless process. In other words, the application should not rely on the persistence of data or state between successive requests. This design approach simplifies scaling and enhances reliability.

Why It Matters

Stateless processes are crucial for scalability. When your application doesn't depend on the state between requests, you can easily scale horizontally by adding more instances of your application. Stateless processes are also more resilient, as they can recover quickly from failures.

How to Implement

Design your application to store state externally, typically in a database or a cache. Each request or task should be independent and not rely on shared in-memory state. This approach allows you to distribute the workload across multiple instances of your application.

Example in Action

Consider a web application that handles user authentication. Instead of storing the user's authentication state on the server, use tokens and store user data in a database. Each request can then be handled independently, and the application can scale horizontally to accommodate increased traffic.

// Stateless authentication example using tokens'/login', (req, res) => {
  // Validate credentials and generate a token
  const token = generateAuthToken(req.username, req.password);

  // Send the token to the client
  res.json({ token });

app.get('/data', (req, res) => {
  // Use the token to gather user data
  const user = getUserByToken(req.token);
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By adhering to the Processes factor, your application becomes more adaptable to scaling demands, ensuring a smooth and efficient user experience.

Stay tuned for Factor 7: Port Binding, where we'll explore the significance of providing services via port binding and how it contributes to the flexibility and portability of your application.

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